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The Working People of Philadelphia, Then and Now

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Philadelphia Ethical Society

1906 Rittenhouse Square

Philadelphia, PA 19103

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In 1980, historian Bruce Laurie published The Working People of Philadelphia, 1800-1850. The book has now been reissued in a freely available online format by Temple University Press. In celebration of its return, please join us for a conversation with historians and Philadelphia natives Francis Ryan and Sharon McConnell-Siddorick. They will discuss questions such as: what was it like to be a worker in Philadelphia in the nineteenth century? How was the Philadelphia working class constituted by race, ethnicity, gender, and occupation? What were some of the major problems, hopes, and aspirations that workers shared? What were the cultures, organizations, and institutions that workers created? In what ways have things changed for the better for Philadelphia workers in 2018, and in what ways are they still struggling?

Speakers:

Francis Ryan is a graduate program director at Rutgers University's Masters in Labor and Employment Relations program in New Brunswick, New Jersey. His book AFSCME's Philadelphia Story: Municipal Workers and Urban Power in the Twentieth Century was published by Temple University Press in 2011. He is the editor of The Memoirs of Wendell W. Young III: A Life in Philadelphia Labor and Politics, forthcoming from Temple University Press.

Sharon McConnell-Sidorick is an independent historian and author of Silk Stockings and Socialism: Philadelphia's Radical Hosiery Workers from the Jazz-Age to the New Deal (University of North Carolina Press, 2017).She wrote the forward for the new edition of Bruce Laurie’s The Working People of Philadelphia, 1800-1850, published by Temple University Press.

Moderator:

Cynthia Little began her involvement with public history in the 1970s when she was a doctoral student in history at Temple University. Throughout her career she has worked at Philadelphia Area Cultural Consortium, Historical Society of Pennsylvania, and most recently at the Philadelphia History Museum.

Working People of Philadelphia, 1800-1850, by Bruce Laurie, was reissued by Temple University Press in 2018 and is now freely available online. It is part of a larger collection of open access books on Labor Studies and Work published by Temple University Press.

This event has been made possible in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor.

Image credit:

Photograph of workers etching labels onto saws at Disston Saw, Tool and File Works, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, circa 1920s. United Saw, Files, and Steel Product Workers of America Records, Special Collections Research Center, Temple University Libraries.


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Philadelphia Ethical Society

1906 Rittenhouse Square

Philadelphia, PA 19103

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